Review: Can’t... type. Neck... collapsing... under... weight of... Banshee headphones... *dies*
Well – it can never be said of the Razer Starcraft headphones that you don’t get what you pay for. That is, if we assume that you’re paying for headphones by the pound, these heavy unwieldy ‘phones are probably a great bargain.
However, if you’re paying for comfort, sound quality or even graceful unobtrusive design, you’re going to feel, dare I say... a bit gypped.
Named after the unit of the same name in Starcraft 2, these headphones are at best an expensive indulgence for the most obsessive of Starcraft fans. For anyone else, though, we simply cannot recommend them
First up, the design. The Banshee headphones are heavily lit by blue LEDs; like all the Starcraft gaming gear, these are tied into actions per minute, which are very serious stuff for high-end Starcraft players. As your APMs mount up, the lighting changes, letting you know when you’re at optimum performance or dropping off. But, you might be thinking, how can you tell when they’re on your head? That’s how big they are – the LEDs can be seen in your peripheral vision. It’s like having a blue glowing ghost standing over each shoulder.
And just as distracting.
However, those LEDs come at significant cost, and not just in dollars. These are the heaviest headphones we’ve ever worn (well, since the seventies, at least), and even a brief gaming session left us with a sore neck. That weight also serves to make them very easy to shake off – they just don’t feel secure.
The design straw is the placement of the volume and mute buttons – they’re on the rear edge of each ear pad. This means that to adjust mic volume, you can only use your left hand, and for headphone volume, your right. It’s awkward, annoying, and more importantly distracting while in the heat of battle.
Sadly, the best we can say of the sound is that it’s average. Good bass makes explosions and gunfire relatively satisfying, and while the treble is there it’s a little washed in static. And you get all this heavy, awkward design and merely adequate sound for a serious price premium.
Sorry Razer – your good run’s come to an end...